Tuesday, December 14, 2010

u r ?

Journeys inside and out

The world of couch surfing came a little closer to me this year, with a host of different couchers that came and walked through the door, interacted with us and left.  As I watched them in and out, there was a mix of emotions that surged – emotions of jealously for the travel or surprisingly fatigue, exhaustion or a sense even of protection.

Each personality evoked and pulled a different chord; depending largely on who they were and how they were approaching the entire episode of travel itself.  If pressed I would maybe bucket them into a few large pools.

The harried traveler


It is the energy about them that gives them away, they have a map and an agenda, they come into the room and want to know once the niceties have been taken care off, about the places to see, how to go what to do and then get down to the practicalities of the journey.

They usually are very well packed, gadgets just the right ones, have an exact idea about how much is a fair price for things and move from one place to the other – remaining somehow aloof, a hovering person above the scene.

Conversations and exchanges with others, is done but with a sense of detachment.. the entire pace is to see, view, take in, and get back to life that has been suspended. It is a holiday. Not traveling…. It is about getting the energy to get back to life that they have left behind…….

The seasoned traveler

The line here is a little tough to draw,  but these are the people who have a slightly more relaxed pace of life… they are still here to experience but there is no haste there is nothing great that they must return to, no sense of agitated panic at now being able to experience the whole nation in a go.,.. a more relaxed joiedevore stems through them ….. but the one thing that this Travel- not a holiday is for them is still an experience. It shall get them somewhere, maybe shall be converted into some cause, they shall write about  it… or maybe it shall become a world tour cause for aids or child rights…. But there is a sense of storing the stories and then one day when the time is right this shall come to use

Then there is the travelers who you see only once in a while.  Travellers they are, but not the ones who are travelling externally.

These are for me the Internal Travelers……… in the course of the year I came across two… On the surface they seem to be the seasoned travelers, having been to a lot of places and seen a lot of things but there is a deep sense of difference. They seem to be travelling inside.

A sense of silence or peace surrounds them, time is not heavy but to be spent with a cup of tea actually engaging with the other person. A lot of their travel is about how they have changed with the passage of the days. They move- from one city to the other, and with each movement there is a stillness that comes.

Temples, museums, mountains , relics cast off their allure.
People, relationships, experiencing interactions cling on with more meaning
They seek themselves, and trot around the world to get there.
but for them this is not a travel or a holiday
somehow somewhere without them knowing it..
it’s a pilgrimage from home to themselves.

To my pilgrimage. On a yoga mat or through 100 flights taken through the world?